Do you want to become a better writer? As with any skill, you can train yourself and improve your ability.
I feel like my writing has improved over the years, but I have a long way to go. To me, writing is a skill that is never mastered but one that evolves and grows over time.
Below are some simple tips to hone your writing craft, especially if you’re just starting out in the field.
1). Read Every Day
Strong writers have a passion for the written word, so along with writing, good writers should read, read, and read some more. I’ve always thought of writing and reading as married skills. When one improves, so does the other. Read a variety of genres and at varying difficulty levels. Through reading, one learns new vocabulary, ways to structure sentences, and thematic ideas. Reading can also inspire a writer’s tone and voice.
2). Write Every Day
As with any skill, your writing will improve if you practice every single day. How can you aim to get better, if you never do it? Runners run every day, musicians practice every day, so writers must do the same. Pick a time each day when you can write free from distraction, even if it’s only for five minutes at first. You can free write or you can find lists of journal entries to kick start your writing sessions.
3). Expand Your Vocabulary
Keep those eyes and ears open for new vocabulary words. Any time you hear a new word, think on it, process it, and try to commit it to long-term memory. When writing, try and use new words so that you don’t bore your readers, or yourself.
4). Vary Sentence Structure
If every sentence sounds the same, your readers will quickly turn away. Vary the length of your sentences as well as the way they begin and end. Keep your readers intrigued. Entice them along with varied sentence structure. Got it?
5). Learn Grammar Skills
If you can put beautiful sentences on a page but have poor grammar skills, we could have a problem. When starting out, folks can’t typically afford editors. For a long time, you will have to be your own editor. If you recognize that writing conventions are not your strength, self-teach yourself. Study grammar for five minutes every day before you write.
6). Don’t Give Up
Many times, we have a goal but give up because it becomes too troublesome or far-fetched. If you truly want to improve your writing skills, don’t give up. Write through writer’s block. It works! Even if you’re writing nonsense because you can’t think of anything eloquent, you are still writing. The fog will eventually lift, and your creativity will return. I promise.